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Apple After Steve Jobs: Can the Electronics Giant Stay Hungry?

Posted on the 06 October 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
Apple after Steve Jobs: Can the electronics giant stay hungry?

Apple pay tribute to their co-founder Steve Jobs on their website

Steve Jobs, the rock star of the tech world, has died at just 56. The loss of Jobs, who fought a rare form of pancreatic cancer for years, has shocked and saddened tech commentators who are now wondering what a post-Jobs Apple will look like. Will the trailblazing firm remain ahead of the competition or will it lose its way without Jobs’ well-documented visionary brilliance?

News of Steve Jobs’s death drove the Apple share price down more than 5% in Frankfurt on Thursday morning, reported The Guardian, which added that they are expected to open lower when Wall Street opens at 14.30 London time.

Cook can steer Apple onwards. Writing at Wired.com’s Epicentre blog, Jon Abell insisted that, “the legendary and now former Apple CEO has left his company in fine hands and on a path of prospects as great as his final years at the helm have provided.” “While Jobs himself is irreplaceable, nobody is indispensable”, argued Abell, who played up “executive chef extraordinaire” Cook’s strengths and noted that “the lines of succession and responsibility have been carefully crafted and are as sleek as any piece of hardware Apple has ever designed.” Abell argued that Cook is ideal to take Apple forward because “Apple doesn’t really need a showman anymore, or even a legacy, though Job’s shadow will be long, and his shoes impossibly large to fill.”

“Jobs is the single most important figure in high tech’s digital era, and only time will tell if he is considered the greatest overall – bigger than the likes of Gates, Hewlett, Packard and other titans,” praised Abell. “But Jobs is more than that. He is perhaps one of the greatest CEOs of any kind, a name which will be remembered generations from now even if the particulars of his achievements and personality are obscure – a Henry Ford of the Internet era, if you will, running the General Motors of the post-war boom.”

Let’s ask Steve. At Reuters, Poornima Gupta and Peter Henderson suggested that Steve Jobs “may never be equaled.” Reuters reported that the idea that Apple has a “deep bench” led by Cook which will cope just fine without doesn’t ring true with all. The news organization quoted a former engineer “whose months of works was dismissed by Jobs with a single curse doesn’t see much strength in the ranks, saying that it was always a case of ‘Steve is the visionary,’ and if something happened it was always a case of ‘Let’s ask Steve.’

Cook has his work cut out. Edwin Chen of Reuters reminded that “investors and consumers alike had grown accustomed” in the past year to the idea of Apple without its visionary leader. However, he predicted there “should be few bumps in the short term. But it’s not clear if Jobs’ brilliance – both as a product visionary and a super-salesman – was ultimately transferable. The lukewarm reaction to Cook’s first big product introduction on Tuesday could be seen as a warning sign.” Cook unveiled the iPhone 4S to the world on Tuesday.

It doesn’t matter what happens to Apple. Writing at Reuters’ Mediafile blog, Abell noted that “people are asking, what will happen to Apple? How will the shareholders react Thursday morning?” He argued that “in 100 years, Apple will either be a punchline, or the next IBM. But it doesn’t matter, because the nature of things is that, like it or not, evolution dictates who will provide the world with the things its inhabitants want — it doesn’t matter whom to us. What does matter are the people you encounter in the meantime, even if you encounter them only be reputation, from afar, or in the remarkable work they do. Farewell, Steve. We hardly knew you, and there isn’t anyone who knew us better.”


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